Manicure Monday: Blue Insinuation

Happy Monday! Manicure Monday is early because I was able to pull myself out of bed early for once. For this week’s look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s The Innuendo Squad with the Holo Glam decals I won in a giveaway (that I talk about here). All photos were taken in direct sunlight.



So it wasn’t that long ago since I swatched The Innuendo Squad (I say it wasn’t that long ago; it was July, yikes), but I’m happy to revisit it. It’s a delicate blue with the softest, prettiest holo flame; I almost just wore it alone again to enjoy it. I didn’t want to cover it with anything. When I got the decals in that giveaway I won a bit ago, I thought about pairing them together, and I like how it turned out.



Of course, this is my first time with water slide decals, and I don’t quite have the hang of it yet. On my Cinderella hand, I tried the method of soaking the decal in a bowl of water, sliding it off onto my finger, and then placing it, but this felt like too much work, and also just trashed one of the decals. I found it easier to place the dry decal on my nail, use an eyedropper to wet it, and then peel the paper backing away when it was wet enough. My placing wasn’t quite right, and so I tried to balance it out with a rhinestone. I kind of like it. Not a first bad go at the decals I suppose. It adds fun to the look without disturbing the polish.




The Innuendo Squad is discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGLs are sold in their online shop, and lots of previously retired polishes are making a comeback for the holidays, just saying. I looked for the Holo Glam shops and just found their social media pages, so I don’t know where to tell you to get those.

I bought this polish myself.
I won the decals in a giveaway.

Manicure Monday: Minty Fresh and Clean

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s look is a pretty simple one. I had a nail break — my nails were already pretty short — so I felt a simple look was best for nails this short. Today’s look was done with a vintage Maybelline mystery color, Lynnderella‘s The Full Minty, and rhinestones.



As you can see, this Maybelline polish is at least ten years old. That’s as long as I’ve had it, anyway. I don’t know anything about it; its name and other labels got peeled off, leaving its identity lost forever. It’s a really nice polish besides being old; it’s a warm nude with a subtle shimmer, it dries pretty quickly, and application was easy, even though I remember one of the last times I used it the brush dropped a strand in the wet polish. I’m always impressed by how long a polish can live.



I never know what to pair nude polishes with. Nudes are a great base for anything, and I couldn’t decide what to use with it, so what I did this week was pick a random Helmer drawer, shut my eyes, and grabbed a polish out. It was this one, Lynnderella’s The Full Minty. This was one of the first Lynnderellas I ever bought, and I’ve had it at least a year now, so I’m happy to be trying it out. At first I wasn’t sure about it; I thought the green would overwhelm the nude, and it kind of does, but I like it. The rhinestones, the final afterthought, pulls it together.



In the sun, this is really nice; you can see the full variety of glitters in The Fully Minty, as well as the subtle nude shimmer in the base.





As the Maybelline mystery color is old and likely discontinued, I can’t offer any buying notes for it. The Fully Minty and other Lynnderella polishes are available on both eBay and Storenvy. My rhinestones are from Amazon.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Autumn Moons

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s Manicure Monday finds me with very short nails; I went bowling on Saturday night and kind of trashed them. At least they grow back. I went for a mature yet cute look today to remind myself that these are, in fact, not a child’s hands. I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Newborn Solstice Sun, Essie’s As Gold As It Gets, and China Glaze’s Angel Wings. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite.



I wore Newborn Solstice Sun on its own quite some time ago when I swatched it. Even though it’s gorgeous on its own, I wanted to try something new with it. I went through the bag of tricks: rhinestones and loose glitters, vinyls and striping tapes. I wanted to get really crazy with it. Once my nails were unexpectedly cut down, though, I decided to keep it simple. I’m wearing Newborn Solstice Sun alone on two nails, as well as the darker shade in the half-moon. It’s a beautiful polish; the color is so deep, and the glitters add depth and sparkle. This is a huge BEGL favorite for sure.



I used Essie’s As Gold As It Gets as the undies for my half-moon. It’s so soft, you can barely tell I used anything there. I wanted just a hint of sparkle, and that’s exactly what I got. I used China Glaze’s Angel Wings as an afterthought; I actually had an accent ring finger nail that was just covered with red and gold rhinestones, but it looked too Gryffindor, so I took it off and just used the gold glitter instead. It still looks out of place to me, but at least it’s not as ridiculous as the rhinestones were.



Newborn Solstice Sun was a limited edition polish; other BEGLs can be purchased from the BEGL shop. As Gold As It Gets and Angel Wings are available wherever Essie and China Glaze are sold. I got my rhinestones from Amazon. The red bow vinyl is from Monster Polish as part of their Doctor Who collaboration with BEGL. I always associate the red bowtie with Pee-Wee Herman, though.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Nail Art Ripper-Offer

For today’s Manicure Monday, I attempted some actual nail art! A couple of weeks ago, Reddit user chill_out_dont_pout did an adorable mani with geometric shapes and negative space, and I’m totally biting her style. For my copycat mani, I used OPI’s Metallic 4 Life and Essie’s Toggle to the Top for the stripes, Fantasy Makers’s Night Glow as the base, and Seche Vite as my top coat.



It’s been a really long time since I’ve done anything this intricate and time-consuming. For the past several Manicure Mondays, I’ve just been laying glitter down on accent nails and calling it a day. Inspired by that Reddit post, I decided I would buckle down and do some real nail art. I had the time, and I wanted to use this glow-in-the-dark polish but had no ideas for it, so it was a perfect coincidence. It was so easy to make this pattern my own; I used two glitter jelly polishes I really loved, made one edge longer than the other (by accident) and added rhinestones to the vertices. In all, I probably spent three hours or more on this look.



Of course, I could have done a better job. My lines aren’t clean or even, and Night Glow was actually a big mess to work with; it was goopy and kind of dried out, so I put some thinner in. It wasn’t enough. I put in more. Even though it felt dry to the touch, I guess the under-layers never fully dried, because even though I waited an hour before I started taping, I still pulled up polish. Thankfully, thanks to a stealthy fourth coat of Night Glow and the power of Seche Vite, you can barely tell!


Night Glow, as you might have guessed, glows in the dark. However, I am terrible at glow-in-the-dark nail photography, so here are some glow fails.



Thanks again to /u/chill_out_dont_pout for the nail inspiration!

Manicure Monday: Double Pink and Fairy Dust

Happy new year, readers! This is my last manicure for 2014. Yeah, I can’t believe it, either! I’m wearing three coats of Pretty & Polished‘s Pretty Chameleon, one coat of China Glaze’s Fairy Dust, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.



Pretty Chameleon is a thermal polish that goes from bright pink to light pink with body temperature. Applying this polish was a dream; the consistency is thick, but this is typically the case with the way thermal polishes are made. Drying times were quick, however, and the polish dried with a matte finish. It’s a very easy polish to put on. There are also some scattered holographic pigments hanging around in it, which aren’t easy to see with the Fairy Dust on top. I really love thermal polishes. The effect occurs almost instantly, depending on how warm or cool my hands are. This is tricky when applying multiple coats; it’s one color on the brush and another color on the nail. It’s so fun, though!



Everyone loves Fairy Dust, right? This was actually the polish I wanted to feature today, but the thermal kind of stole the show. It’s such a beautiful polish, and I wish I had the chance to use it more often. Maybe it’s good that I show restraint and don’t put it on everything, even though I’ve been tempted.


Pretty Chameleon, cold

Pretty Chameleon, cold


It’s a pretty tame NYE mani, but I’m happy with it. I thought wearing a thermal on nubs would be boring, like they would just always be the warm pink and I’d never get to see a change. Additionally, it was 80 degrees here today, and I was counting on cool outdoor temperatures to effect the change. I saw it change in the supermarket earlier, though, so that’s something.



See you guys in 2015!

Manicure Monday: Trash Nails and Magnetic Silver

This week on Manicure Monday, we play with magnets, tweezers, and super glue. No, we’re not building a robot, we’re doing our nails! I wish we were building a robot, that would be cool.


I only used one polish this week: Sinful Colors’ Polar Opposites. I know magnetic polishes are passé and uninteresting now, but I still like the look, even if I couldn’t get mine to come out very well. As was the case with my last magnetic polish, the magnetic design looked fantastic when I pulled the magnet away, but began to fade and distort as it dried. On some nails, the design is completely invisible, whereas some others barely are. It’s too bad; the magnetic effect really brings out the fine blue-to-purple shifting glitter. It’s a shame it’s not more pronounced, it’s really pretty.


You’re probably wondering what all that crap is doing stuck to my nail. I got this nail art wheel from Claire’s with a bunch of round pyramid studs in it, and I thought that since I was only using one color, I could use a few of these studs. I thought they’d look best paired with a gray or silver polish, and since I was using one, I tried it. These are some of the tackiest, trashiest, most clothes-snagginest nails I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to see what it’s like washing my hair in the morning with these bad guys. There are pyramid studs of various sizes and colors, a teardrop rhinestone, and metal chain segments in a variety of finishes. I know they look like over-the-top hooker nails, but they make me feel kind of badass, like I could cut somebody with them. I might accidentally cut myself.


I don't always post my right hand, but when I do, it's tacky as hell.

I don’t always post my right hand, but when I do, it’s tacky as hell.


I tried something new this week: the DIY gel manicure. I originally saw a post on Reddit (that I can’t find now, so here’s the tutorial I used), where someone applied layers of Gelous between their color coats to get a durability comparable to a gel manicure. I was in Sally this weekend, I saw the Gelous, and I decided to try it for myself. Application was easy, but took some time; you’re using a few different products in a short amount of time. I didn’t really like this part; I like to let my polish dry for a really long time (like an hour) before I put another down. As a result, when I went to clean up my cuticles, I got some pulling and tugging from where the polish was kind of dry, but not dry enough. I have some weird edges from that. Also, the tutorial skipped base coat altogether and jumped right into the Gelous. I wasn’t okay with that. Having bought my first bottle of Nail Envy this weekend, I started with a base coat of that, then went for my usual OPI base coat (which was probably overkill), and then went into the Gelous tutorial. We’ll see if it holds up. I really hope it does, because now that my boyfriend lives here, I have to wash dishes twice as often, and my manicures don’t hold up the way they used to when I only had to do dishes once a week.

One of these things is not like the others. It's Sinful Colors' Polar Opposites!

One of these things is not like the others. It’s Sinful Colors’ Polar Opposites!

In unrelated news: Wacie Nail Company is a thing that’s really going to happen, and soon. Last week I ordered some supplies for a R&D run, and the last of it will arrive tomorrow. I will probably spend all my free time this week huffing lacquer fumes and inhaling glitter, and hopefully, I’ll have working prototypes by Friday. I’m really excited about making polish, sharing it with everyone, and doing something more constructive with my time than refreshing Reddit. I hope you’re looking forward to it!

Manicure Monday: Blue and Silver Gradient

This week I have two fantastic polishes and a beautiful shiny gradient.If it wasn’t so gross and cold and overcast outside, these nails would be absolutely blinding.


I started with two coats of OPI’s Austin-tatious Turquoise. It’s a bottle I’ve had for a few years now, acquired in that legendary Ulta haul where I had a ton of reward points and left the store with like ten bottles of OPI. I don’t know, the bottle count changes each time I remember it. It’s like a fishing story. Unfortunately, I had a lot of problems with this color. The first coat was thin and uneven; the second did not cover or improve anything. I was only able to gain opacity when I started sponging it on to create the gradient. I was really disappointed by it, because it’s beautiful in the bottle. It takes a lot of work to get it to look good on my nails.

This is me trying to demonstrate the duochromatic properties of Austin-tatious Turquoise. It almost worked.

This is me trying to demonstrate the duochromatic properties of Austin-tatious Turquoise. It almost worked.

Shine is the total opposite. Opaque in two coats, it makes this gradient reflective and, well, shiny. There isn’t a better name for this polish. I liked the silver so much, I added a rhinestone to each nail to add more. Overkill? Probably. Pretty? Totally!

OPI's Austin-Tatious Turquoise, Orly's Shine

OPI’s Austin-Tatious Turquoise, Orly’s Shine

Manicure Monday: Red and White Stamps

I bought a stamping kit on my latest excursion to Sally; that was like a month ago, and I’ve just gotten around to trying it out.


The neutral base color is a color called Cashmere Crème. I got it in a thrift store probably a year ago. When I got it, the printing on the bottle was mostly intact; I have no idea what happened to it since then. I’m also not entirely sure what color this even is. It looks like a tan shimmer in the bottle, but on my nails, it looks more metallic, more silver. It’s confusing. It’s a good base color for this manicure, though.

It was kind of tough finding the right colors for the stamped designs. I’d set aside the dark red Mercury Rising to go with the Cashmere Crème before I even knew I was going to be doing this stamping design, and at first, I didn’t think it would be opaque enough to stamp with. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. The white is Sally Hansen’s Hard to Get, my workhorse white color.

China Glaze Cashmere Creme, Sinful Colors Mercury Rising, Sally Hansen Hard to Get

China Glaze Cashmere Creme, Sinful Colors Mercury Rising, Sally Hansen Hard to Get

Then I got the rhinestones out. I tried doing them just on my thumb and ring finger as accents, but then the rest of the nails looked plain, so I added a few here and there, alternating the colors on each finger. Then I got tired of seeing ones that didn’t have a rhinestone and I ended up with more than I planned, and some in odd places, like on the sides or at the very tips.

For a first try at stamping, I’m happy with it.

Manicure Monday: Purple and Neutral Curves with Rhinestones

I went a little overboard last week. I finally got the nail art accessories I bought on Amazon; they shipped from China and took ages to get here. I’m thinking about buying more, though. I got like ten rolls of striping tape, tons of rhinestones and pearls, and fimo sticks for about seven dollars, including shipping. This could be either the best thing or the worst thing to happen to my weekly manicure.


The middle finger’s stone is supposed to be a bow, but whenever I see it, I think about mitosis. I might spend too much time doing science.

When I started with this one, I’d tested it on my white mannequin hand. The white base color had given me a greater contrast between the light colors. It looks fine when light is directly on it, but in a room that’s not so well lit, it’s hard to tell them apart. That’s where the rhinestones came in. That, and I couldn’t not use them.

Urban Decay's Sidecar and Smog, Sinful Colors' Bali Mist

Urban Decay’s Sidecar and Smog, Sinful Colors’ Bali Mist

I used Urban Decay’s Naked lacquer set a few months ago, and I still feel a little guilty about having bought it. I’m a huge fan of Urban Decay and their Naked palettes, so adding the lacquer set to my collection was a no-brainer. Of course, when I got it, I was disappointed to find that they were all mini bottles, and that I’d spent almost thirty dollars on mini bottles. I mean, I’m glad I have them, I love all the colors, and a quick search on reveals they’re out of stock, but I’m still a little mad at myself for spending that much. That said, Sidecar is my new favorite neutral. I started with two coats of it before I added all the other nonsense, and part of me wishes I’d just left it on. It’s so understated, but still so shimmery and soft.

Also, that quick search on revealed that Urban Decay has a couple of nail colors that aren’t part of the Naked brand. I think I need them.

Manicure Monday: Brown and Orange Tips on Yellow

I don’t like these.


I had this yellow, and I didn’t really know what to do with it. I didn’t want to do another gradient right away, and I didn’t feel like trying dots or anything. My original plan was to use the French manicure guides, but I didn’t have enough after last week’s manicure, so I used tape.

Rhinestones! The ring finger is a heart shape, the thumb is a diamond.

Rhinestones! The ring finger is a heart shape, the thumb is a diamond.

I was kind of in a rush with this. I had people over this weekend, and they had car trouble and had to stay over an extra day, so I hurried to get them done. I made kind of a mess, and I made the mistake of using polishes that weren’t very opaque. I put thick coats of polish on, and it kind of migrated away from the tips and left me with some weird discolorations and stringy bits the tape lifted. The tape also pulled up some of the orange pieces, hence the rhinestones.  Finally, I didn’t wait long enough to apply the top coat, so some smudging occurred.  Basically, these nails are like the sad yellow markers from our childhoods that met the black marker a few too many times. They definitely looked better in my head, and could have turned out better if I had been able to take my time with them.

Bubbles and smudges and all kinds of sadness.

Bubbles and smudges and all kinds of sadness.

I love the color combination, though. It just came together very easily, and it wasn’t until yesterday when I saw this pillow in my living room that had been crocheted or knitted by someone’s grandmother using the same colors. I wonder if I was subconsciously influenced by it.

Bonder, Quick Canary, Orange Smoothie, Under Your Spell, Out the Door

Bonder, Quick Canary, Orange Smoothie, Under Your Spell, Out the Door

This is the first time I ever used Wet ‘n Wild polishes, and they have this really wide brush that wasn’t suitable for detail work like this. I bet they get really nice coverage in different situations, but I don’t think I’ll use them again for this purpose. I put on a lot of top coat to smooth down the rhinestones, and it almost feels like Seche Vite again. I miss it.